The Justice Project
By Michael Betcherman
3.5 / 5 ⭐
This is one of those unique YA books in that it isn’t centered around angsty love relationships. It discusses the topics of the death penalty, as well as, wrongful conviction and incarceration of the innocent. The book presents the story like an unsolved mystery, and the pieces need to be put together to help free a man who may be innocent. What I really enjoyed was that the story showed how people can have differing opinions on issues, but they can still come together and hear each other out – even be friends.
Matt Barnes is the star quarterback who led the Snowden Falcons to the State Championship. He has a scholarship to USC. But a freak snowboarding accident changes everything. Not only will he not play football ever again, he now walks with a gangly limp – permanently. Feeling down and without a purpose, Matt looks for summer work but stumbles upon an internship with The Justice Project, an organization that is set up to help defend those who were wrongly convicted of crimes. Turns out Sonya Livingstone, a girl from Matt’s high school who seems to have it out for football players like Matt, is the other intern.
Matt and Sonya quickly form a team when they hear of an inmate, Ray Richardson, who has been convicted of killing his own parents 21 years ago. They feel that he is innocent, but The Justice Project can’t take his case unless there’s new evidence. Matt and Sonya decide to investigate on their own. Following leads and chasing clues, Matt and Sonya find they are becoming real friends. Reopening Ray’s case could cost Matt everything, but Matt finally feels like he has a purpose again.
Thank you to @netgalley and @orcabook for this ARC for review.
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